Book thoughts

The last place I visited before the governor ordered everything* shut down was the neighborhood library. It’s a lovely space, with large ceilings and big windows (possibly it’s one of the libraries built on the Carnegie plan). It’s a lovely space, with just enough books to keep me busy. I returned a book, impulsively picked up a book (not a great one, it turns out), and then read the room.

Each librarian would work for a short while, then go to the back of the library to just breathe. When I got home, I heard the news that as of 5 o’clock, all restaurants, libraries, movie theaters, museums were officially closed. I suspect the librarians were waiting for the official news, but had to come in while police, trash collectors, and hospital employees were falling ill to COVID-19.

Things are opening up again, although the libraries and some yarn stores have curb side service only. I miss being in the space that libraries occupy, with each book a magic portal into someone else’s imagination. Currently, I order a book, and then get a call that they’re ready for me to come in. I set a time, and then call once I’m under a tent outside the front door. Then the librarian pops out, makes me state the last 4 digits of my library card, and places the book on a white table before running back indoors.

It’s challenging to buy or request a book unseen – I prefer leafing through them first. One of my friends asked why I don’t just download books onto my computer or a tablet, and… the computer is for work. I splurged on a ticket to virtually attend St. Hilda’s College Crime Fiction Weekend, because the topic was interesting — historical fiction and mysteries. I listened to authors talk about the research they did for their books, getting pointers and trying to decide which books weren’t too filled with the Midsummer Murders effect. I then researched which books were available from the library and which to buy from the venue. [The Mysteries Ahoy blog had an article about what it was like.] I hope that they hold it online and in person in the future, since cross-Atlantic travel for a conference requires vacation time. Would I rather visit Oxford to attend? Yes. Is that practical? Sigh. Maybe not very.

So, during this time of distance from bookstores and libraries, have you been researching books online, or getting recommendations from friends? I’ve been texting friends who knit, to find out what they think of yarn before I make an order. 🙂 Although right now I still have so much stocked in the house that I should be OK if I just knit what patterns and yarn I have.

* Except grocery stores, drug store, the post office, hospitals, construction places, and liquor stores.

2 Responses to “Book thoughts”


  1. 1 Anj October 2, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    I have a few places I get book recs. One is my 52 books club which is online. and the other is thru a library friend of mine. I can always tell you about what I am reading, but it is nice to see what others are reading.


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